Senior center offers cool retreat

By Linda Looney-Bond


Alan Scott, 59, of Jonesboro, was playing pool Monday afternoon at the Frank Bailey Senior Center in Riverdale. Between mornings and afternoons of work outdoors, Scott said the center offers him a way to get inside for a while, and enjoy a cooler environment.

"I'm building a ramp at a day care around the corner on Riverdale Road," said Scott. "In order to beat the heat, I get out there at like 6:30 [or] 7 o'clock in the morning ... and by the time it's 11:30 [or] 12, there's no shade so I come over here and hang out until about 4 o'clock. Then there's shade for me to work the whole rest of the afternoon."

In addition to games of pool, the Frank Bailey Senior Center, located at 6213 Riverdale Road, offers a number of activities for the area's older adults, some of whom say it's a good place to stay cool as the weather heats up. Seniors age 55 and older may become members of the center, according to Manager Mindy French.

"We open at 8 a.m., and close at 5 p.m.," said French. "We have many of the seniors that are here from eight to five just participating in the activities, and in that way they do beat the heat," she said.

The membership fee for Clayton County residents is $1 per year. The fee for seniors who do not live in Clayton County is $10 per year.

"We offer some free classes, then [for] some of the classes, there is a small fee attached to them," said French.

Free classes include beginning crochet, billiards, pinochle, line dancing and water walking. Classes that require a fee include tai chi, swimming and yoga.

Members of the senior center may also participate in field trips. Upcoming trips include a tour of the Chateau Elan Winery in Braselton, a tour of the Governor's Mansion, and a viewing of the "America I Am" exhibit, currently showing at the Atlanta Civic Center.

Betty Jones, 68, of Hampton, was in the center's pool Monday afternoon, taking an aquatics class.

"I'm here because of my health reason - my herniated disc," said Jones. "It [the aquatics class] helps me to walk better."

Jones said the class also helps her cool down as summer temperatures hover in the upper 80s, into the 90s.

"It's a good way to beat the heat, if the heat doesn't beat you before you get in here," said Jones.

Over a game of pinochle Monday, Decatur resident Walter Johnson, 68, said he enjoys meeting friends at the Frank Bailey Senior Center.

"I come here to play cards and to fellowship," said Johnson. "And we're in air conditioning the whole time we're here."

For more information, contact the Frank Bailey Senior Center at (678) 479-5505.